the taste space

Roasted Vegetable Ribollita

Posted in Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian), Soups by Janet M on March 5, 2013

I am loving the conversations from the last post about the evidence surrounding eating a Mediterranean diet. The New York Times wrote a follow-up article that summarizes my feelings pretty closely: there is a surprising lack of evidence for nutritional recommendations. While in medical school, I remember being taught that the only thing shown to keep weight loss on long-term was bariatric surgery. Perhaps that is because the proper studies have not be done. To be fair, I learned the DASH diet with was better than any single medication to reduce high blood pressure. Hopefully, the flurry of interest from this past study will propel researchers to investigate plant-based whole foods eats. The New York Times suggested a vegan diet is not a long-term option, but I disagree.

Onwards with another Mediterranean meal? Vegan AND delicious? :)

I love it when I know it is going to be a good week. By Sunday, after I do my batch cooking and a bit of taste testing, I have a good idea how my meals will be for the week. Flops or wins? I never seem to know with these Random Recipes.

This one was a big win!

Dom pushed us to randomly pick a recipe from our (physical) recipe pile. I still like to print out my recipes for the week and sometimes throw in bonus recipes if there is empty space on my page. While cleaning the kitchen table, I decided to tackle one of my recent but neglected clipped out recipes.

Sometimes I am blown away by the simplicity of good food. I wasn’t expecting this to taste so good as it did, so I was pleased to have such great tasting lunches all week.

This recipe was for a ribollita, an Italian peasant soup featuring vegetable soup with day-old bread.  Most versions use leftover vegetable soup, but here we create a complex soup simply from roasted vegetables. Roasted fennel was new to me, but I really liked the medley from roasted red peppers, zucchinis, carrots, mushrooms and onions. White beans add bulk and the giant corona white beans were a perfect match to the chunky vegetables. Sliced cabbage added an almost noodle-like feel with some structure to the vegetable soup. I added both tomato paste and red pepper paste to the broth simply because I was too lazy to open a new can of tomato paste. I really liked the deep flavours from both pastes, but feel free to use only tomato paste if that is what you have on hand. I omitted the bread completely, so I doubt this is still a ribollita proper, but it sounds like a wonderful addition for this hearty soup.

Which soups are warming your belly this winter?

This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays and to this month’s Random Recipe.

Roasted Vegetable Ribollita
Adapted from Big Vegan (original recipe here)

1 head garlic (12 cloves)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 fennel bulb, cored and chopped
1 large zucchini, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1 portobello mushroom, stemmed and chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
1.75 cups cooked white beans (I used cooked corona white beans from Whole Foods), divided, reserving any cooking liquid
4 cups vegetable broth and/or reserved bean liquid
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp Turkish red pepper paste (or more tomato paste)
3 cups sliced green cabbage (300g)

1. Preheat oven to 425F. (I happened to use a convection oven but a regular oven is fine, too)

2. Chop off the top of the head of the garlic, add a touch of coconut oil, season with salt and pepper and wrap tightly in aluminum foil.  In a large silpat-lined baking pan (I used a 9×13 glass baking dish), combine red pepper, fennel, zucchini, carrot, onion, and mushrooms. Dab coconut oil overtop veggies, place in oven to allow it to melt, then stir into the veggies. Season with salt and pepper, cover with foil and roast for 40 minutes, stirring half-way through. Remove foil and continue to roast another 10 minutes, to allow the vegetables to brown.

3. Meanwhile, reserve half of the white beans and set aside. Add the other half of the beans to a food processor and puree until smooth.

4. In a large pot, add pureed beans, vegetable broth, tomato paste, red pepper paste and beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer. Once your roasted vegetables are ready add them to the pot. Remove cloves of roasted garlic and smush to make a puree. Add this to the soup as well. Add the cabbage and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

5. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm. Want a real ribolitta? Serve with a slice of toasted bread.

Serves 4-6.

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21 Responses

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  1. Dom said, on March 5, 2013 at 7:46 AM

    anything that contains this many vegetables and includes cabbage can only be a good thing in my book! This is a beautiful looking soup and one that gets better with age, eaten the next day for lunch as it were…. a lovely recipe, a great blog post too, very informative… thanks so much for taking part x

  2. Gabby @ the veggie nook said, on March 5, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    I wish I had this in my fridge- so cold out!!! I love soups with beans and cabbage, so much fiber and staying power.

  3. Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table said, on March 5, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    This is one of my favorite stres. I love all things Italian. This week I healthified a spaghetti pie recipe my mom used to make.editedreanean food can so easily be made into a healthy meal option!

  4. emmycooks said, on March 5, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    I thought it was funny that the article suggested that it was just unreasonable to expect that people would be able to follow a vegan diet. I think a few good studies examining its benefits could change some minds about that!

  5. Joanne said, on March 5, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who judges my weeks based on the food that I’ve made. Good eats = a good week! This soup would definitely get me excited to wake up and go to work every day, knowing I could have it for lunch or dinner or both!

  6. julia said, on March 6, 2013 at 2:42 AM

    i can’t seem ot get enough of hearty tomato-based soups this winter. i have a russian pepper paste called ajvar — i wonder if it’s similar– in any case, i bet it would go great in this soup!

    • julia said, on March 6, 2013 at 2:42 AM

      oops – i meant ajika! we have ajvar here, too, but it’s more eggplanty!

      • janet @ the taste space said, on March 6, 2013 at 8:53 AM

        I’ve heard of ajvar but not ajika. Is it spicy? Wikipedia likens it to vindaloo strenth – oh my! I have only used the mild Turkish red pepper paste which is sweet. There is a hot version but I have yet to try it.

  7. Jacqueline said, on March 6, 2013 at 7:26 AM

    It does look great. I had a craving for soup this morning, but I will have to save this one for another day and do a bit of a shop first. Think it will be a simple carrot and lentil soup for me today.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on March 6, 2013 at 8:51 AM

      Thanks Jacqui. Soups like this are great for your 5:2 diet. ;)

    • deb britenbaker said, on March 8, 2013 at 2:01 AM

      Try putting turnip, diced, in your lentil dishes. The flavor blend is really wonderful, I don’t want to keep it a secret.

      • janet @ the taste space said, on March 8, 2013 at 8:16 AM

        Oh, I will have to try that out. I’ve done that once with a curry (my root veggie and lentil dal) and it was nice. The last time I had turnips, though, I roasted them as fries and they were even better, too. :)

  8. Johanna GGG said, on March 8, 2013 at 6:37 AM

    I love ribollita – I have made it with kale which works really well – would love to try a roast veg version – roasting the veg always makes the flavour amazing. Am fascinated to hear that you print out your recipes to make each week – I think I would probably lose them by the time I came to making the meal but it would be handy if you didn’t have access to the recipe on the internet for any reason

    • janet @ the taste space said, on March 8, 2013 at 8:20 AM

      Hey Johanna, I store the recipes electronically but sometimes I get antsy about having my tablet near me in the kitchen… and since I batch cook on the weekends, I just combine the 3-4 recipes for the day onto one page to print. Then I jot down notes for the modifications I made right on the sheet. The papers are meant to be recycled afterwards but they tend to hang around a lot longer if I don’t clean up. :)

  9. Deb in Hawaii said, on March 10, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    Ribollita is such great comfort soup. I love how colorful this one is, all the roasted veggies and those big white beans. ;-) Thanks for sharing with Souper Sundays.

  10. [...] Pesto – Creamy Spinach and White Bean Dip – Sunshine Carrot Tofu Scramble with Spinach – Roasted Vegetable Ribollita – Rasta Pasta – Jamaican Tofu Chowder with Collards – Japanese Okonomiyaki Veggie Pancake – Seitan [...]

  11. Suzanne said, on March 30, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    We’re heading into autumn and winter here in NZ, so I’ll be giving this a go to keep us warm – looks like a winner.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on March 30, 2013 at 8:16 PM

      The end of my winter is the beginning of your autumn.. I am almost tired of the root veggies by now, I must confess. Please let me know how you like it. :)


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